- When restaurant staff and management do not react quickly enough to clean up spills, mop water, or other dangerous obstacles, slip and fall accidents can and will happen.
- Proper investigation and the quality of your evidence will determine whether you can recover for your injuries.
- A personal injury attorney can help you determine the best course of action for pursuing a claim and the length of time your case may take.
It’s no surprise that restaurants see their fair share of spills and slip and fall hazards caused by dropped food or drink – at guest tables, in walkways, in or near the bathrooms, and around the kitchen.
When restaurant staff and management do not inspect or react quickly enough to resolve these dangerous situations, slip and fall accidents are bound to happen. Fortunately for the victim, most restaurants are insured for such mishaps. In some cases, slip and fall victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Restaurant Can Come with Big Medical Bills
When a slip and fall accident occurs in a restaurant, the chances of a severe injury are high.
Aside from hard floor surfaces that provide no cushion from a fall, restaurants are typically arranged to maximize seating space. This often leaves narrow walkways between the chairs, tables, and counters. These types of constricted layouts can contribute to the consequences of a slip and fall because a victim is more likely to crash into furniture or other obstacles.
Such a collision can result in fractures, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, sprains or severe bruising. Injuries like these often lead to huge medical bills, from emergency room care to physical therapy or much more.
Restaurants Don’t Automatically Pay Medical Bills or Lost Wages Just Because You Ask
You might imagine that the restaurant where you fell would immediately volunteer to pay for your injuries. Sadly, this is not usually the case. Many restaurant owners and managers will not even consider themselves responsible for the accident.
If you have medical bills from any injury at a restaurant, you will probably be expected to pay for your own medical care and treatment. Severe injuries that require time away from work may mean you also miss out on wages, which only adds to your financial burden.
Luckily, the law in Georgia is on your side. But, the only way to ensure you recover all you’ve lost is to hire an injury lawyer who will demand the restaurant’s insurance pay for your injuries.
Because personal injury lawyers work daily to collect compensation from negligent businesses, like restaurants, they know the best ways to recover slip and fall compensation for innocent victims like you.
Gathering Evidence Can Be Difficult
The quantity and quality of your evidence will determine whether you can recover for your injuries. It’s not surprising that restaurant injury claims can present problems when you’re attempting to gather evidence.
Some of the challenges in restaurant slip and fall accidents include:
- Witness info may be difficult to gather: If customers pay cash, they don’t leave a name and address information. This can make it challenging to gather accounts about what occurred and the condition of the restaurant at the time.
- Video evidence may be unavailable or insufficient: Surveillance cameras in restaurants may be limited to kitchens and storage areas where employee theft may be an issue. Even when slip and falls are captured on camera, the evidence may not always show the liquid or food on the floor responsible for the accident. Nor will it establish how long that danger was present before your fall. This information may take interviews of personnel to discover.
When you’re trying to build a successful legal claim, solid evidence is critical. The best way to accomplish this can be to retain an attorney who specializes in personal injury.
Injury Lawyers Know How to Collect Evidence from Restaurants
Your first thought might be that you can collect from the restaurant without retaining an attorney. But this is what the restaurant owners are hoping for. The big insurance companies that insure businesses, like eateries, have perfected the art of intimidating injured customers. Of course, the restaurant and their insurance company won’t want to pay for your injuries because the less money they are forced to payout, the more they can keep as profit.
When an injured patron calls in a legal advocate, the tables begin to turn. Personal injury lawyers know all the tricks insurance companies use to keep you from getting compensation. If the insurance company tries to keep evidence out of your hands, your injury lawyer will know precisely how to obtain it.
Part of what your lawyer will do is demand the evidence from the restaurant with court orders, and the other side will have to comply.
Some of the evidence your law firm can gather includes:
- Names of witnesses: One good thing about restaurant slip and falls is that there are usually plenty of witnesses who saw what took place. This can include employees as well as customers. If customers paid their bills with a credit or debit card, your personal injury lawyers might be able to locate their information to gather effective statements.
- Video evidence: Often, security cameras at the business film the accident when it happens. Naturally, the restaurant won’t give this to you freely, but an attorney can compel them to do so.
- 911 calls: Especially in serious accidents, 911 calls are frequently made for emergency services. Anyone who made such a call can potentially be a witness, and your attorney will know how to find them.
Restaurant Injury Lawyers Help You Get a Full Settlement Amount
Determining what your claim is worth in terms of dollars can be a difficult job. If you don’t work with injury claims regularly, you don’t always know what can be recovered or where to get this information. Making matters worse, medical bills don’t always come in quickly and can be left out of the claim. Then, the expense becomes your responsibility.
Pain and suffering compensation can also be difficult to establish. The discomfort you suffer as a result of your fall is a legitimate expense that both insurance companies and restaurants would like to avoid altogether.
Missed time at work due to your injuries may result in lost wages, which should also be accounted for in your claim. Unfortunately, these figures are often ignored or significantly understated without an attorney’s help.
Bandaging supplies, pain medication, and hours spent in physical therapy are all compensable and should be included in your settlement amount as well.
An injury lawyer with experience knows what and how much is allowable in these and other legitimate claims.
Preventative Measures Restaurants Can Take to Prevent Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are oftentimes preventable. This is a fact that restaurant owners and their insurance companies already know. Unfortunately, preventative measures require investments, like more and better employee training and fast responses to spills.
A smart restauranteur takes care of slips and falls opportunities before they happen by doing the following:
- Training employees to constantly be on the look-out for spills or anything that can cause a slip and fall
- Using yellow warning signs around wet areas
- Quickly cleaning up tables and floor areas when customers leave
If you were injured from a slip and fall in a restaurant, it might very well be because of neglect.
Questions About Restaurant Injury Claims
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, we understand that you may have numerous questions. Here are some popular questions we have received about restaurant slip and fall accidents:
Will an injury claim put the restaurant out of business?
No. While an injury claim against a business may be costly, usually businesses have liability insurance to protect them against having to pay any such claims out of its reserve.
If a customer causes the spill resulting in the slip and fall, can there still be a claim filed against the restaurant?
If a customer causes the spill which results in the slip and fall there may be a viable claim against the restaurant if the injured party can prove that the restaurant was aware of the spill and that the spill remained on the floor for enough time for the restaurant’s employees to have discovered the spill and rectified it. Also, the injured party must be able to prove that they had no knowledge of the spill before the slip and fall.
If a customer caused the spill immediately before the accident, is the restaurant off the hook?
If a customer caused the spill immediately before the slip and fall it is likely that a claim against the restaurant will not be successful.
Who pays for the slip and fall accident if it happened at a restaurant?
If the slip and fall happened at a restaurant and the required elements to prevail on such a claim under Georgia law are met, usually the restaurant’s liability insurance carrier will pay for the claim.
Is it possible to have a trip and fall accident claim from a restaurant?
It is possible to have a trip and fall accident for a fall at a restaurant if the elements for establishing liability against the restaurant are present.
If there are no medical bills, do I have a slip and fall case?
No. Medical bills incurred for the care and treatment of injuries sustained from a slip and fall are a requirement for asserting such a claim.
The first consultation is free of charge and can answer most of your questions and concerns. An attorney can also help you determine your best course of action and the length of time your case may take.
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Let Our Law Firm Do All the Work
Building and presenting a slip and fall case is time-consuming and technical. The court’s rules about evidence and procedures can be challenging for most people to tackle on their own.
The good news is The Millar Law Firm has the resources to help make your claim much less stressful. You can sit back and let us do what we do best – win full and fair compensation for our clients. Call today for your free consultation. 770-400-0000